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Let's talk about Loving Mr. Darcy!

Hi all! Well, it is official: Loving Mr. Darcy is a fully released novel. Hopefully it is on bookshelves all across this fine land. All the various online retailers have stock sitting in their warehouses ready to be shipped. Reports are flowing in as pre-orders are delivered and anxious readers locate my shiny novel in a Barnes & Noble or Powells. If you get yours, let me know! My website has been buzzing with activity for the Launch Fete. The chance to win a signed novel will continue until midnight tonight, so come on over to chime in: The Darcy Saga.

Here on the only blog exclusively dedicated to the outstanding 2005 Pride & Prejudice, The Darcy Saga Week marches on! I will be answering Jeane’s questions about my latest novel, volume two in the series. Don’t forget that a comment will earn your name being placed into the hat for a signed copy!

Here we go….

Jeane: Can you tell us about your latest release, Loving Mr. Darcy, the 2nd volume (and follow up to Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One) in the Darcy Saga series?

Sharon: Happy to! This novel begins days after the first ended and is not designed to be a stand alone novel. I like to make that clear. The Darcys, including Georgiana, travel away from Pemberley as the title implies. For roughly five months the reader rides along with our lovers as they visit family, entertain in London where Lizzy is officially introduced to Society as Mrs. Darcy, enjoy the typical activities of the day, and tour the Midlands of Derbyshire. A number of difficulties and dramas are encountered, a couple dozen new and old characters are interacted with, romance is abounding, and history is explored. So much happens in this novel that I hardly know where to start!

J:
What were your favorite Elizabeth & Darcy moments you've enjoyed writing about in LMD?

S: My favorite section to write was when Darcy feels their unborn baby for the first time. I imagined how that scene would play out for a months before I wrote it and, if I say so myself, it is beautiful.

Another is a very dramatic interaction toward the end of the novel. I can’t say too much or I will give away the event, but the emotion and action is intense.

I really loved the celebrations for each of their birthdays. Mr. Darcy’s birthday is a flashback, occurring while they are engaged. It was one of the first short stories I wrote and was so fun. Lizzy’s birthday is a spectacular! Let’s just say she has the birthday to end all birthdays and everything about her special day turned out very well.

I also really loved writing the Pemberley Summer Festival events. It was a creative challenge to craft the entertainments as I did and a research challenge to discover how a carnival-type event would have been. I think it worked out very well and will have the reader oohing and aahing right along with the crowds.

J: Which familiar characters from the original novel and 2005 movie should your readers/fans expect to hear/read about in this sequel?

S: I think every character is at least referred to at some point. Not everyone appears in person, however. Austen has WAY too many characters in her book to have every last one be dealt with completely! I did do my best, but some will be given more time in later books.

As for LMD, Col. Richard Fitzwilliam has a prominent role, as begun in Mr. and Mrs. FDarcy. The Matlocks are frequently around. Of course Georgiana is with her brother and new sister all the while. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet interact here and there. Some, like Anne de Bourgh and Mary Bennet, are given a chance to shine and have surprising storylines. Charles and Jane Bingley reappear, spend a great deal of the time with the Darcys, and make a huge decision that will affect their future in the novels. Even Caroline Bingley and Lady Catherine have sections devoted to them.

In some cases it became a gut choice of one over another. For instance, I felt lead to develop Mary in this book rather than Kitty. That does not mean Kitty is ignored. She is there, speaks quite often, and we see touches of growth, but her story arc is saved for the third and, primarily, the fourth book. One of the joys in writing a saga is being able to follow the characters down the passages of time. It doesn’t all have to be tied up with a neat bow in one book.

J:
Besides Elizabeth & Darcy, which Austen characters were your favorite to write about in LMD?

S: I am very happy with how I handled Anne de Bourgh. I felt a very strong pull to enhance her character, give her a voice and personality, and create a life for her. I had a great deal of enjoyment with Caroline Bingley! She is given snippets of time through the next several books, her arc gradually being revealed. And I adore Richard Fitzwilliam. Oh, how I love that man! He is the ever present, humorous foil to the stoic Mr. Darcy, the two incredibly close and devoted to each other. Richard burrowed into my heart, becoming as real as Darcy. He is sheer fun, but also brave and complex. Of course Mrs. Bennet was fun to play around with, and Lady Catherine the harsh harridan to upset the tranquility!

J: You have created several characters in this sequel. Which one is your favorite and why?

S: Without the tiniest doubt my favorite is Darcy’s uncle, Dr. George Darcy. He is simply Fantastic! And I can say that with complete humility because it was as if George invented himself, growing from the eccentric relative I initially imagined breezing in for comic relief to an integral part of the story. He asserted his personality, evolved into a multifaceted individual, and took over whole passages on more than one occasion! I am so proud of him. Of all the characters I have created or enhanced, George is the one I would bring to life if it were possible.

J: This book was originally titled "Journey's Beyond Pemberley." Then, just before its book release date was announced several months ago, another title was added to it. How did the additional title, "Loving Mr. Darcy" came about?

S: Primarily it was the simple marketing fact that books with “Darcy” in the title catch people’s eye and sell better. Can’t argue with that. My editor came up with the title. For me, as long as the “Journeys Beyond Pemberley” stayed in, I was totally cool with it. I admit I was a bit concerned that it would be interpreted as a book just about him. It was pointed out to me that the title has the triple meaning of Mr. Darcy as loving, that Lizzy loves her husband, and that the reading loves Mr. Darcy! It did take me a while to stop calling it “Journeys Beyond Pemberley,” but now it feels right and I so love it.

J:
What do you hope your readers/fans take away from reading Loving Mr. Darcy?
S: My intent is the same as it has always been. I want my readers to have fun, learn a bit of history, feel as if they are striding through the Regency world, be imbued with the warmth of an enjoyable story that focuses on love and relationships, and turn the page with a smile on their face. Mostly I want them to marvel at the affinity the Darcys have for each other; to appreciate the special marriage I have given Austen’s revered characters; and to believe that it can be found outside of a book’s pages.

Thanks for these questions that allowed me to talk about my newest book. I am so proud of this story and hope readers will love it so much that they are clamoring for more! Feel free to comment or ask a question – although I will not give away plot points! A signed copy is up for grabs! Come back tomorrow when I will be talking about what it is like to be a published author and my experience at the Romance Writer’s Conference. On Friday I will share an excerpt. See, so much to still look forward to.

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***Giveaway deadline: End of Sunday, 9/6 – Leave your email address to be notified***

Comments

  1. OK, that's it. I'm currently reading two books... but I am putting both of them aside, so I can start on Book One of the Darcy Saga! NOW!

    ReplyDelete

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